A COTSWOLD nursery has confirmed it is set to close at the end of next month due to insufficient numbers.
Gooseberry Bush Day Nursery, based in Kemble, will close its doors for the final time on July 31.
The nursery, which offers places to children aged between three months and five years, announced the devastating news in a letter sent to parents.
In the letter, a spokesman for the nursery said: “I would like to thank the many of you that responded to our recent request for return intentions.
“It was hugely important that we gather this information, not only because this was a specific request from the council but also in order to plan for the future.
“We have already invested considerable resources in supporting all our families, either by providing home learning opportunities, or by keeping the nursery open to support our key workers.
“The possible return or more children will mean we have to make some fairly major changes to the setting, to accommodate everyone in the safest way possible.
“The survey results, however, show that there will not be sufficient numbers returning to our Kemble nursery to enable us to cover the continued costs (even if we were to introduce place holding charges etc).
“With this in mind, it is with deep regret that I need to inform you that Kemble nursery will close completely by July 31, 2020.
“This is a very sad outcome for us all but, as we always have, we intend to continue supporting you in every way we can, and when we do have to close, we intend to offer transfers to our Hullavington setting to those families that require continuing childcare.
“We aim to make this transition as smooth as possible for the children and we will be relocating as many of our existing staff there as is possible, our aim being to keep children with the staff they know.
The nursery opened yesterday in line with the government’s guidance, with changes in place to accommodate children in smaller groups, along with a number of other recommended changes to allow the nursery to open safely.
A spokesman for the nursery added: “I know there has been some concern over the possibility of staff in masks and children being told not to touch anything.
“The government guidance makes it clear that face coverings are unlikely to be much use in educational settings and, so far, the staff have greatly preferred visors, since they have found that these do not impact interactions and are quickly forgotten by all concerned.
“We will sub-divide the nursery into discrete play areas and consistent small groups of children will be able to play and learn as normal in these spaces.
“Enhanced cleaning will be used to reduce any contact risk and we will keep the same key workers with the children throughout.
“This arrangement should hugely reduce the risk of the spread of the infection within the nursery.
“We realise this may be distressing news in an already difficult time, but I would ask for your continuing encouragement and support to our staff, as they are also coping with the possible implications of this situation.”